On 25 January 2023, this question has been answered during a MyLocalFoodE event in Lansingerland. Hosted by Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and the municipality of Lansingerland (the Netherlands), participating children (aged 6 to 12) learned about greenhouse horticulture. The event “Where does our food come from” was aimed at children and their parents to inform them about fruit- and vegetable production in controlled environments.
Home of horti science
Lansingerland, located in the Province of South-Holland, is the second largest greenhouse horticulture municipality in the Netherlands (after Westland). The municipality accounts for about 64,000 inhabitants and hosts about 789 hectares of greenhouses, growing 54% of vegetables and 56% of ornamental plants. The clustering of innovative companies makes Lansingerland a strong knowledge network for the entire greenhouse horticulture sector. Within this so-called Horti Science Park, FoodE partner WUR is an active member and research organization.
During the MyLocalFoodE event, participants learned first-hand how fruit and vegetables are produced in greenhouses. In addition, they were informed about innovative and environmentally sustainable systems and how these contribute to current and future challenges, such as climate change. The tour of the facility started in the winter-light greenhouse. During winter season, 10% more sunlight is led in, leading to a 10% increase of cucumber production. Afterwards, the group visited KAS2030, a greenhouse demonstrating the growth of gerbera’s in a fossil-free and emission-free environment. Finally, in the EFTE greenhouse, children learned how strawberries grow under a durable plastic (EFTE) material, with has interesting properties compared to common glass.
And the winner is…
A total of 85 participants handed in their FoodE drawing. After a word from Eric Poot (WR) the winner of the coloring competition was announced. Although only one participant won an iPad, nobody left empty-handed. All participants received locally grown gerbera’s and a box of fresh blackberries.
Due to its great success, the event will be held again. Let’s spread interest and enthusiasm for greenhouse horticulture!
On 1 February 2023, Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and Delphy Improvement Centre organized a light event within the program “Kas als Energiebron”. The “Kas als Energiebron” is a joint program of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality and Greenhouse Horticulture Netherlands. The main purpose of the event was to promote the exchange and expertise between the research- and business sector and discuss the challenges of our time, and related developments and innovations to tackle these. During the event, a total of 200 participants were enlightened with the latest research and developments in (LED) lightning through workshops, discussions and guided tours through the facilities of Delphy and WUR.
At WUR Glasshouse horticulture, the participants were guided along different trials, including the Vertical Farm. The Vertical Farm was built in recent years and constitutes one of the pilot case studies within the FoodE project. It serves as research, educational and demonstrational centre. Thanks to the full climate control, the vertical farm is an optimal research tool and is used for the investigation of production recipes, light spectrum, new crops and many other topics. This research is (also) intended to unveil new insights for horticulture in greenhouses. During the tour, the facility, the equipment (and the current crops: hop and lettuce) were shown to the participants. An overview of the projects carried out so far as part of FoodE as well as other projects was given. Since 2020, many different crops have been grown in the high-wire and layered cells such as lettuce, basil, dwarf tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, soybeans, strawberries.